Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday's gun protests in Washington

I'm happy to see we made it through April 19, which is something like a holy day for the militia crowd, without any incidents of political violence.

I was especially curious how the gun-rights rallies would go, one of them an unarmed event at the Washington Monument promoted as the Second Amendment March, the other an "open-carry" event where participants were invited to bring their weapons, billed as a Restore Our The Constitution event. The latter was heal at Gravelly Point, a national park where it's legal to carry weapons because President Obama dropped the regulations that previously had forbidden it.

According to the report by Marisol Bello and Oren Dorell, D.C. gun rally packs less heat than Va. event USA Today 04/19/10, the Washington Monument event drew several hundred people, the open-carry rally only about 100. That is consistent with what I've seen from other reports, photos and video from the rallies. (See below.)

I wouldn't want to draw too many conclusions about what didn't happen. But that kind of turnout doesn't provide evidence of some huge upsurge in public support for armed militias or violent political confrontation with the federal government over the "tyranny" of access to buying health insurance.

But that in itself doesn't say much about the potential for violence from "Patriot Militia"-type domestic terrorist or terrorist-wannabe groups. To the extent such events as Monday's gun protests occur, with their militant anti-government rhetoric and seditious posturing and without criticism or condemnation from Republican and "movement conservative" leaders - and even with some active encouragement from those sources - they are likely to encourage the violent fantasies and paranoid fears of the violence-inclined Patriot Militia crowd.

See also:

Daivd Weigel, Taking the oath, and other Second Amendment March scenes and Pro-Second Amendment marchers fear much more than gun laws Right Now 04/19/10

Heather, Matthews Allows Gun Rights Protesters to Show Their Blind Hatred for President Obama Crooks and Liars Video Cafe 04/21/10

Dave Neiwert provides video and commentary provides video of Glenn Beck talking about the gun protests from his very warped worldview, taking the militia line justifying Timothy McVeigh's Oklahoma City terrorist bombing in 1995 as a response to Waco: Glenn Beck calls progressives a 'cancer,' but compares Tea Partiers to progressive civil-rights marchers like M.L. King Crooks and Liars 04/21/10


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